England’s tour of New Zealand continues this week as the first Test in a two Test series starts in Mount Maunganui.
Joe Root’s side will be hoping to make an instant impression on new coach Chris Silverwood as he takes charge of his first five-day game on the international stage.
Read on as we look at where the cricket betting value lies ahead of New Zealand vs England.
New Zealand vs England – Can Joe Root’s Side Win The Test Series?
As Silverwood continues to bed into the role, he’ll be acutely aware that one of the biggest remits of his new role will be to get England to move back into the mindset of playing Test cricket as it should be played. That’s with patience, if required.
One of England’s biggest failures in last summer’s Ashes series was a tendency to be their own worst enemies with the bat. Avoidable collapses in the first and fourth Tests effectively put those matches beyond reach, killing off any hopes of England retaining the urn in the process.
Former England coach Trevor Bayliss always looked more comfortable with the white ball game, and now Silverwood will look to redress the balance front by pushing a more patient approach. A reshuffle in the batting order with Joe Root at number four already looks a step in the right direction.
All eyes will be on the opening partnership, with Dom Sibley and Rory Burns looking to end the uncertainty at the top of the order by establishing themselves as a duo with staying power to lead England forward into a new era in 2020.
One of Silverwood’s first big selection dilemmas ahead of the first Test has also centred on which all-rounder would get the nod.
We now have our answer.
Sam Curran makes the cut with the 21-year-old preferred over the more experienced Chris Woakes. The latter has often struggled to make his mark away from home soil, which opens the door for left-arm seamer Curran to force his way into Silverwood’s thinking.
England’s chances could also be boosted by Kane Williamson’s continuing injury issues. A hip problem has plagued the Black Caps’ key man throughout the autumn, although he has been declared fit for tonight’s first Test.
New Zealand vs England – Best Bets
England to win at 7/5
No player to score 100 or more runs at 9/2
Odds correct at time of writing, but may be subject to change.
Who wins the first Test?
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